THE spate of fires across the Orange district on Wednesday was largely due to hazard reduction burns not being properly extinguished, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
NSW RFS Canobolas Zone operations officer Brett Bowden said of the seven fires on Wednesday, six were caused by the reignition of hazard reduction burns.
“They were the direct result of earlier hazard reductions, or burn-offs up to a week old,” Mr Bowden said.
Mr Bowden said wind gusts of up to 72km/h whipped up embers in hazard burn areas creating new fires.
Fires broke out in Clifton Grove, East Guyong, Manildra, Mount Pleasant Lane and Gosling Creek.
“The wind just created a lot more fire intensity,” he said.
“It’s almost impossible [to extinguish] depending on what the fire’s burning in.”
Among the flare-ups was a hazard reduction burn conducted by the Canobolas Zone NSW RFS at Gosling Creek on Tuesday.
Mr Bowden said even though fire crews had “blacked out” the area, smouldering tree stumps were reignited in the strong winds.
Mr Bowden said a five-hectare grass fire at East Guying on Wednesday started after power lines clashed in the strong wind, dropping sparks into the dry grass.
“It’s not uncommon in strong winds,” he said.
Mr Bowden said no property was damaged by fire in the district on Wednesday but it was a timely reminder for property owners to better prepare their land for the upcoming fire season.
“If rural landholders have long dry grass on their property they need to consider reducing their fuel levels,” he said.
Mr Bowden said this could be done by stock grazing, slashing, constructing fire breaks or, as a last resort, burning the area.